Rio Rancho Journal - Disabled Boy Gets Wish: A Special Bike
Disabled Boy Gets Wish: A Special Bike
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Stephanie and Joseph Varoz wanted to keep their 11-year-old physically disabled son, Marceliano, active, despite his limitations.
However, as he got older, that became harder and harder to do.
And there was an added challenge.
Joseph Varoz has rheumatoid arthritis and is also physically limited.
“It was hard to find activities they could do together,” Stephanie Varoz said. “They both enjoy riding bikes. They are best buds so we thought maybe they could have a bike they could ride together.”
The Corrales family started researching companies that might be able to make the two a double bike.
“It’s not like you can walk into Walmart and buy this type of bike,” she said. “We finally found a company that could do it, but it was an exorbitantly expensive.”
The bike would have set the family back more than $8,000, a cost Stephanie Varoz said they would never be able to absorb.
That’s when the family turned to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They put in an application, and Marceliano’s new orange bike, which is more like a large tricycle, arrived March 17. The bike allows the boy to sit strapped in the front, and his father rides in the back. It’s modified so Marceliano can help pedal, but it has an attached battery in case the two get tired and need to rest.
Jamie Schwebach, program manager for Make-A-Wish New Mexico, said children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18 who have a life-threatening medical condition are eligible.
“Our goal is to grant the one true wish of the child,” she said. “Marceliano knew he really wanted the bike but he also wanted to meet President Obama. It was tough but he finally decided on the bike.”
Joseph Varoz said he and his son have gone riding several times since receiving the bike.
“It’s amazing to be able to ride together, and we’ve already been out six or seven times,” he said. “When you are thirsty for something for so long, you want to do it a lot when you are finally able.”
Marceliano, a sixth-grader at Taylor Middle School, is only able to speak through a computer, which his father said can be difficult. They submitted a statement on his behalf to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: “Please. I wish to have a bike. Want to ride together often with dad. Thanks.”
The wish was sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.
“It adds to our enjoyment of life,” Joseph Varoz said. “It was getting hard to do physical activity with him because he is getting so big and strong.”
— This article appeared on page 1 of the West Side Journal